Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Long Term Test: 2014 Acura RLX Tech post #2

Second Update
Current Miles: 3,436

The 2014 Acura RLX has a strut bar...a bit unexpected.
About two months ago, I got the opportunity to use the RLX as a daily driver for a little over a week. Just as I would have driven my own S2000, I drove the car to and from work, as well as to run errands and hang out with friends. During this time, I was able to find out some new things about the RLX that I had not noticed when we first drove the car back in December.

As was initially mentioned in our first post, the RLX handles pretty darn well for a front-wheel drive car of its size. The Precision-All Wheel Steering (or P-AWS for short) does a great job at getting this nearly two ton sedan to rotate through corners quickly without nerve wracking understeer. Unfortunately, the RLX's nimbleness around corners does not translate to its ability to make a U-turn. While making a U-turn at a light one day, all the usual nimbleness of the RLX while carving up canyon roads seemed to vanish, and the car understeered like a pig. While a car's ability to make a U-turn is not generally considered a performance benchmark, I do worry that if you put your foot down too hard during a U-turn, you could potentially lose control. This is definitely something I did not experience with the 2011 RL thanks to its Super Handling All Wheel Drive (OR SH-AWD). I am guessing I will not have the same issue with the RLX Sport Hybrid, whenever it finally decides to show up.

Another quirk about the RLX I noticed were its insanely grabby brakes. A gentle tap on the brake pedal can nearly bring the car to a complete stop at low speed. Every time I go from driving my own car to the RLX, I always forget how grabby the brakes are and it freaks me out. I do wish the brakes had a more progressive feel to it. I do admit though that I am impressed with the stopping power of the brakes. The RLX is a very heavy sedan, and for the brakes to bring the car to a dead stop that quickly is impressive.

Most reviews and comments I have read about the RLX call the car bland to look at. Personally, I think it is a conservatively handsome car. While driving the RLX out to hang out with friends, I actually received quite a few compliments on how good the car looks. I often feel like the RLX, along with other Japanese luxury sedans, are unfairly criticized for their looks. If a German luxury manufacturer puts a car out that is merely an evolution of a conservative design they have used for years, it is called handsome and inspired. If a Japanese manufacturer does the same, it is criticized as being bland and uninspired.

We have only had the RLX for about half a year now, so we are looking forward to more opportunities to test Acura's newest full-sized luxury sedan. A long road trip with the RLX definitely sounds like it will be a good test of its ride and new noise isolation technologies.

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